labels: economy - general
Government weighs liberal imports as inflation touches 6.73 per cent news
16 February 2007

Mumbai: The government is weighing a more liberal import regime even as the annual rate of inflation jumped to a record 6.73 per cent during the week ended February 3 compared to 6.58 per cent for the previous week. The inflation rate, based on the wholesale price index, stood at 3.98 per cent for the same period a year ago.

The Reserve Bank's tight monetary policy and various fiscal measures taken by the government have failed to contain inflation and the government may make imports more liberal to control inflation, commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath said.

The rise in inflation rate has been due to costlier primary items, mainly non-vegetarian food articles and some manufactured products.

Among food articles, prices of some poultry, meat and meat products rose exorbitantly. Pork became expensive by 26 per cent, eggs were costlier by seven per cent and mutton prices were higher by four per cent.

Prices of urad, masur, moong, condiments, spices, fruits and vegetables, bajra, niger seed, cotton seed oil, rape and mustard oil, ground nut oil also rose.

However, the prices of barley, wheat, jaggery, suji, maida, atta and imported oils declined, as did the prices of aviation turbine fuel, naphtha, furnace oil and electricity.

Kamal Nath said the inflation is due to the constraints on the supply side and the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP) is looking at those gaps and if the need arises imports would be made more flexible.

In the recent past, the government and RBI have unleashed a number of measures like duty cuts and interest rate hikes to tame the price line.


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Government weighs liberal imports as inflation touches 6.73 per cent